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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Life on the Wrong Side of the Oil Field Tracks

Life on the Wrong Side of the Oil Field Tracks.

Dec. 7, 2013 (SOSPA)
By Laurie Barr
Save Our Streams PA

The industry can be broken down into two distinct groups, the old and the new.
While Gov.Tom Corbett promotes the successes of the new unconventional drilling industry during his re-election campaign, oil rises up from the shadows of the dilapidated pump-jacks, helping to shed light, revealing a long history of a dysfunctional  agency charged with the oversight of both the old and new style drilling.
Leaking well on the Thomas’ Property, Duke Center,
Pennsylvania ( SOSPA Photo left)
Some operators who work in the oil and gas fields are conscientious; when they experience a spill or an equipment failure that results in oil ending up somewhere it shouldn’t be; it’s promptly cleaned up. That’s the best case scenario.
Leaking well on the Thomas’ property, Duke Center, Pennsylvania
(Above SOSPA Photo)  

Imagine a worst-case scenario: an operator abandons a well and the unplugged well oozes oil and/or brine continuously; contaminating your property and nearby aquatic resources.
Now imagine that there are dozens, as many as 65 such wells, and then imagine gallons of oil and other contaminants pouring from the wells daily.

The Thomas’ of Duke Center,  McKean County don’t have to imagine this scenario. They have had to live it.

They have reached out to State and Federal officials for help to little avail. The scenario has plagued the Thomas’ lives daily; for decades.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) well records are incomplete.  It’s a mystery how many of the wells on the Thomas’ property were pumped by the operator who passed away in October of 2012. An even bigger mystery is; why Pennsylvania officials haven’t been able to figure out how to stop the constant flow of contamination from the wells, allowing the plumes of contamination to grow.
Emeral green crude  pours from a well on situated in a wetland  on the Thomas’ property, Duke Center, Pennsylvania  ( Above SOSPA Photo)  
To date, after many reports have been made to the PADEP and the Environmental Protection Agency( EPA),  and also after several calls to the National Response Center to report some of the (daily) discharges of crude oil, a comprehensive survey of the oil field has yet to be conducted. Nobody knows exactly how many wells are on the Thomas’ property or even how many of these wells are contributing to the contamination plumes that cover large areas of the property. 

Historic map showing the well locations on the Thomas property. ( Above SOSPA Photo)
The Thomas’ have managed to locate over 30 wells in various stages of disrepair. A historic map, published prior to the permitting of 7 contemporary wells, identifies approximately 65 wells bringing some estimates to 72 wells but early oil and gas operators did not always document every well so there may be more wells hidden among the forested areas and heavily vegetated wetlands included in this 40 acre parcel.

There are health and safety hazards associated with these wells and these have essentially rendered the majority of the property unusable. While a number of wells have pump-jacks or well casings attached, others are simply open holes hidden among the underbrush of the forest canopy and wetland vegetation.
Pump-jacks sit idle on some of the wells; while emerald green crude flows from pipes and wellheads.

In some areas the ground is completely saturated, puddles have formed and brine flows continuously across these areas to ultimately reach Knapp Creek, a tributary of the Alleghany River.
Broken pipes, tangled wires, leaking oil and brine tanks litter the oil field.
Large tanks surrounded by dark oil stains leak oil and other fluids while the unmistakable oil field odors and gases permeate the air.

Leaking seperator tank on the hillside of the Thomas’ property, Duke Center, Pennsylvania. ( SOSPA Photo)
Many abandoned wells constantly pour natural gas into the atmosphere. Several of the wells on the Thomas’ land are leaking natural gas; contributing to climate change. While gases pour into the atmosphere, and as the contamination plume grows, PADEP officials and representatives for the deceased operator’s estate mull over how to divide the oil pie and draw straws to figure out who is going to take the first bite.
According to the National Response Center a report, dated March 06, 2013 “this has been an ongoing issue for years.” The oil and fluids continue to flow from wells situated in these wetlands, along the creek, in the creek and on the steep mountainside, where eventually it washes downstream while officials mull over what to do.
It seems the Department of Environmental Protection or any other agency of the Commonwealth will probably not be able to figure out how to appropriately address this. Contaminants are entering into the watershed daily, a fact that officials, from the local level including Rep. Martin Causer, and others on up to governor Corbett’s office have been made aware of, yet none seem to be able to grasp the idea that this needs their immediate attention, a remedy, sooner rather than later and some office, department, agency needs to step in and take the lead. Do something, anything to stop the contaminants from entering Pennsylvania and New York State waterways.
The idea that the agency continues to authorize more permits to drill wells; while existing abandoned and unplugged wells are continuously dumping contaminants directly into the watershed, as the alarmingly clueless buffoons try to figure out who’s on first, is simply astounding. When will the PA Department of Environmental Protection start actually, you know, protecting the environment?
According to a recent press release, dated October 15, 2013 Reps. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and Kathy Rapp (R-Warren) joined hundreds of independent oil producers and supporters at the site of the world’s first oil well to highlight the challenges threatening the future of this 150-year-old industry.
Causer spoke to the crowd during the event.“Our independent oil and gas producers are vital contributors, not only to our local economy but to our statewide economy as well,” Causer said. “We can’t afford to have government regulate them out of business. It’s time for the administration to work with us to ensure the future of Penn Grade crude and all the business and industry it supports.”

Rapp stated “I am proud to stand with all of you in the fight to not only protect this industry but to get government out of the way so it can grow and thrive,” Rapp continued “It’s time for the bureaucrats who write these regulations to be held accountable to the people.”  
Ditto!  By the way Kathy, the Thomases are people too.
10 Helen Lane, Bradford, Pennsylvania.Exploded  (Above SOSPA Photo)
Improperly abandoned wells are known to provide a direct pathway to the aquifer and to the surface. The Thomas’ water well contains explosive levels of methane. Due to the risk of explosion a PADEP official's advice to the Thomas’? “I don't recommend you take a nice soak bath while smoking a cigar and enjoying a glass of wine."

Laurie Barr




Rep. Martin Causer website:

Press release “Causer, Rapp Join Call to Action for PA Conventional Oil Industry” 10/15/2013 :

Perilous Pathways: Behind The Staggering Number Of Abandoned Wells In Pennsylvania

Sen. Bob Casey wants feds to help investigate Pennsylvania house explosions

Laurie Barr

Wells don't heal themselves; they require plugging & re-plugging for the life of the planet.

Save Our Streams PA

Phone: 814-203-9772
Join Save Our Streams PA's Scavenger Hunt  for
Lost, Orphan and Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Charges Against James Mills Reinstated By Superior Court After DA Appeals

Charges Against James Mills Reinstated By Superior Court After DA Watson Appeals In Alleged $400,000. Fraud Case

A decision in Potter County Criminal Court by Judge Dalton of Tioga County in March which dismissed charges against a Coudersport contractor charged with defrauding a Galeton woman out of nearly $400,000. has been reversed in Superior Court.

The Potter County Court dismissed the charges against James Ronald Mills, Jr., in an order of March 26, 2013, pursuant to PA Rule 600, which relates to the length of time a defendant can be held without trial.

Potter County District Attorney Andy J. Watson appealed the decision to the PA Superior Court and today received the court decision issued on November 14th by the Superior Court Judges, reversing the lower court decision and remanding the case back to the Potter County Court for further action.

The complete Superior Court decision is posted below, and below that is the original breaking story posted in Solomon's words for the wise on December 8, 2011.

 The original story is posted below:

Coudersport Contractor Stole Nearly $400,000. From Customer

A Coudersport contractor was jailed Wednesday in lieu of $250,000. straight bail after he was arrested by State Police on felony Theft/Fraud charges.

Jim Ronald Mills Jr., 38, of 3343 Alabama Trail, Coudersport, PA, owner and operator of M & M Mechanical, is accused of stealing nearly $400,000.00 over the course of over 2 years from a 75 year old woman who hired him to work on her home on Meeker Hollow Road in Pike Township, Potter County..

Approximately $363,000.00 in cash, and $32,110.00 in other property that included three motor vehicles was taken from Margaret Ann Andrews of Galeton, PA.

In a news release Thursday night, Trooper Glenn C. Drake II, of the PSP Coudersport Station, said the accused Mills was hired as a contractor by Andrews. Over the course of two years working for the victim, Mills prepared work order estimates for jobs to be done at the victim's home.

He started jobs and took payment of advances on the work and did not complete the work.

Mills convinced Andrews to invest in properties in Tioga County that had mineral rights. He bought these properties in his name and did not repay Andrews.

Mills took three motor vehicles from the victim, a 1998 Dodge Truck with a snowplow, a John Deere backhoe, and a Cub Cadet lawnmower. Mills took possession of numerous other items of Andrews' that included a door, a window, a generator, a portable wood saw mill, 2 refrigerators, gas in gas cans, and items not used in her home repairs, but already paid for, such as a 200 amp electrical service with fuses.

Mills was arrested Wednesday on a warrant issued by Magisterial District Judge Delores G. Bristol in District Court 55-4-03. He was arraigned by on-call District Judge Barbara Easton who set bail at $250,000. straight. Mills was unable to post bail and was remanded to the Potter County Jail.

A Search Warrant was issued by Judge Bristol, and served on Mills' home in the Cherry Springs area on Thursday.

Trooper Drake filed the following charges: 5 counts of (F3) Theft; 3 counts of (F3) Theft By Deception; 4 counts (F3) Receiving Stolen Property; 1 count (F3) Deceptive of Fraudulent Business Practices; and 1 count (M2) Criminal Mischief.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Po t t e r C o u n t y H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y
Q u a r t e r l y B u l l e t i n
308 N Main St.
P.O. Box 605
Coudersport, PA 16915
814 • 274 • 4410
r e s e a r c h e d , w r i t t e n a n d e d i t e d 
by D a v i d C a s t a n o
† … No. 190

Residents of Potter County are often self-critical in
regards to the slow effusion of new trends and social change
into our rural setting. The counter-cultural movements of
the late sixties and early seventies transformed American
politics; it’s socio-economic structure, and every strata of
contemporary life.

The war protests, assassinations of national figures and
the openness of the drug culture spawned nationwide
moritoriums, riots in every major city and active criticism of
the government’s domestic and foreign policies. Among the
seminal moments of these times was the anti-war march on
Washington in 1972, led by thousands of Vietnam veterans
including now secretary of State John Kerry. Within a year,
then President Richard M. Nixon became the target of every
conspiracy theorist as the Watergate cover-up unraveled.
In Potter County, returning veterans came home to
family and work. The political climate in the county rarely
rose to a heated level beyond the candidates for County
Commissioner. In the early 1970’s, the real estate markets
discovered God’s Country. For half a century, only sport
hunters and fishermen kept camps along the streams and
near the vast boundaries of State Game Lands. Meanwhile,
Henry David Thoreau was rediscovered by a more urbane
and utopian-minded segment of American society. Within
a day’s drive of Potter County the working middle class
sought respite from increased crime and social blight that
took hold along the Eastern Megalopolis stretching from
Boston to Baltimore.

Potter County was becoming accessible by the
improved highway systems of the Interstates with Route
80 opening up a Southern route, and Routes 17 and 15
bringing land-seekers from the New York and Philadelphia
markets. Newly-formed real estate ventures enticed
struggling farmers and landowners to sell off unproductive
acreage with prices ranging from $700 to over $4000 per
acre in 1972. At that time the average yearly income of a
Potter County family was $4599. Albert and Ida Schweigart
lived on a 20 acre farm along Whiteman Road three miles
from Mills near the Harrison/Bingham township line. In
1973 they sold their farm, including a house and barn to
John and Mary Triboletti from New York City. The
Tribolettis purchased the property as an investment and a
reclusive getaway that suited their modest budget. Their
son James, while working in the city, met an energetic and
creative young law graduate by the name of Charlie

Charlie McCrann entered Princeton as a freshman in
September of 1964. He was a groomed ivy-leaguer;
studious, conservative, but easy-going with a puckish sense
of humor. Charlie was adroit at making the best of any
situation. When the only summer job available was working
as a night janitor, it was no problem; that provided quality
time on the golf course during daytime hours. The Vietnam
War ended deferments for Grad students, so Charlie found
a National Guard unit and entered Yale Law School a year
later, in 1969. He always gravitated toward the active and
more controversial legal issues ; and was involved in a mock
trial organized by fellow law student Hillary Rodham.
In the summer of 1974, Charles Austin McCrann,
Princeton graduate, Yale Law School graduate, and now a
single professional living in New York City took his creative
juices into the free-flowing stream of independent film
making. The political climate of the 1970’s was rife with
intrigue, plots and cover-ups. Mistrust of authority was the
by-word for every aspiring film maker, and movies such as
SERPICO and EASY RIDER opened the door for film
audiences to be more than just entertained. Therefore,
Charlie sought a balance between conspiracy and
entertainment. Portraying government plots required and
attentive movie-goer, but Charlie the Writer, Producer and
Director knew what every audience would in some way
respond to: FRIGHT! This would require the simplest
form of movie monster on his limited film budget. The
answer was the Zombie, in human form, no speaking parts
and available in any number.

The word “Zombi” is of West African origin and was
introduced into the West Indies and the American Gulf
Region through the slave trade. The basic premise was
that a corpse could be brought back to life by supernatural
powers (VooDoo) and become a mindless slave of a
VooDoo Master. The introduction into American movie
culture came with the detective film (Film Noir) of the
1930’s and 40’s, with the plot locale in the Caribbean or
in Louisiana, where the American VooDoo cult was then

In the genre of American horror films, Zombie movies
were a standard at drive-ins through the 1950’s and 60’s
with a host of “B” film-makers trotting out “Undead”
movies to the gasps and screams of teenaged audiences.
The political transition of the plots in these films actually
began through independent film-makers in the early
1970’s, just as Charles McCrann began his explorations
into the intricacies of film production. During the same
year (1974) that he was assembling his cast and crew, a
small movie production company used an abandoned coal
mine near the Western Pennsylvania town of Kittaning to
film NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, a cult classic to
this day whose plot parallels in many ways the thematic
use of a chemical or atmospheric anomaly that transforms
living humans into violent cannibalistic humanoids
impervious to pain and relentless in their attacks on a
panic-stricken public. The twist was that unlike the
Zombies of earlier films, these creatures were not under
the control of a VooDoo master.

Their destruction required an individual or team of
resourceful everyday people to risk and sacrifice
themselves, if need be, to stop this savage Zombie army .
Early in the summer of 1974, fifteen members of the
cast and production crew arrived at the Triboletti property
in Northeastern Potter County to begin filming. The movie
was shot using 16mm film on a very tight production
schedule of just 16 days!

Various cast members arrived or departed depending
upon their roles in each carefully contrived scene.
The film opens with two men stalking through the
woods with deer rifles. They open fire on a young hippie
girl bathing at a makeshift camp. They kill the girl and
are suddenly attacked and killed in turn by a pair of knifewielding hippies. It turns out that the shooters were
Federal Drug Officers and the hippies are marijuana
growers who have come to harvest their illegal crop. When
the two officers do not report back to their boss at a
government command post, he orders the area secretly
sprayed with a new herbicide to kill off the crop. The
hippies are caught in the spraying, carried out by a drunken
crop-dusting pilot. They fall ill and begin craving meat
and soon become homicidal!

Meanwhile, forest ranger Tom Cole (played by Charles
McCrann) takes his wife and his half-brother on a fishing
trip into the forests as the hippies, now Zombies, go on a
rampage killing anyone they stumble across. This includes
a family of four on a camping trip. The parents are killed
but the children escape into the woods. A local farmer
meets his fate on a woodland road, and the infected cropdusting
pilot kills his nagging wife before he succumbs to
his injuries. Ranger Cole rescues the orphaned children
and discovers a remote cabin. A hermit who had
befriended the marijuana farmers reluctantly shelters Cole
and his party. During the night the Zombies lay siege to
the cabin, Cole and company escapes, but the Hermit falls
victim to his former hippie friends.

The climax of the movie comes as Tom Cole assumes
he is being rescued by a second pair of federal agents, only
to discover that they mean to kill him and his companions
to cover up the botched crop spraying and resulting
slaughter. Cole manages to overpower one of the agents,
and the Zombies suddenly appear to extract more mayhem.
The price is high as Ranger Cole’s wife and half-brother
are killed in a final Zombie assault. The last scene features
a heavy-hearted Tom Cole fueling up at a local gas station
near a village on the edge of the forest. The residents are
unaware of the events that occurred just a few miles away.
The government scrambles to cover up the incident as
Tom Cole, hero, pawn of the government and recent
widower, drives away from the station and disappears down
a stretch of two-lane blacktop.

Ninety percent of the scenes in the movie were shot
in the farmhouse and surrounding fields and woodlands.
An airfield is the setting for the drunken pilot’s
preparations for his fateful crop dusting of the Zombietransforming defoliant. The yellow bi-plane is not shown
in the footage at the hanger. In all probability it is a
Grumman two-seater aircraft commonly used for crop
dusting because of it’s low stall speed. The clips may be
stock footage, although the Rhinebeck airfield, north of
New York City displays many antique bi-planes and could
be the source of McCrann’s aviation scenes. The hanger
depicted in the movie is on Bailey Hill, a few miles
southeast of Ulysses. It was used by Raymond Buck around
the time that the film was shot. It is likely that Charlie
McCann inquired about a site that had an airfield and
hanger. It is a twenty minute drive from the Triboletti
house to film the hanger sequence. He then spliced it
with the bi-plane footage during editing.

One half mile from the farm, at North Bingham is
Lloyd Lake. The family camping scenes were shot at this
locale. The road shots were the Harrison Rooks Road,
the Mills/Bingham Road and Whiteman Road in Harrison
Township. The Hermit’s cabin, partially constructed of
logs is prominent in the Zombie attack scene against Cole
and the Hermit. The site of this cabin is unknown at the
time of this writing, but may be contained within the twenty
acre farm property formerly belonging to Albert
Schweigart, Sr.

The most easily recognized filming site is Sherwood’s
Garage along Route 49 just a mile east of Ulysses proper.
This is the last scene in the film as the tragic hero, Tom
Cole fuels up and then drives off leaving “the forest of
fear”. The only other character in the scene is the station
attendant. This man is not identified in the film credits,
and our research cannot identify him as a local. He bears
a resemblance to one of the hippie-Zombies with a wig
and beard. The local twist in this scene is the parked
vehicles in the background. The modified stockcar
belonged to Harold Sherwood and was run at Woodhull
Raceway as number 11Jr. It’s parked in Harold and Shirley
Sherwood’s front lawn, right beside the garage in the movie.
The muscle car was owned by Shirley. Today this model
is a classic car of the era (a Buick with the Spirit of America
paint scheme) featured in many Buick commercials in

The make-up and special effects were the realm of
Craig Harris. Considering the tight budget and limited
material resources, his skill in make-up show even through
the gore, amputations and head bashing! Harris went on
to do sound effects and editing on such hit movies as

Except for a few encounters with locals during film
production, usually as the hippie/Zombies wandered
through the countryside, the cast and crew kept to
themselves around the farm site. A teenaged Art Kear and
his companion, while riding dirtbikes, happened upon a
number of the cast members lounging on the front steps
of the farmhouse on a sunny afternoon, strumming guitars.
Art hung out with them for the afternoon and was
impressed by the friendly and relaxed atmosphere. One
of the female cast members, probably the lovely Debbie
Link, who portrayed the nude hippie girl shot while bathing
by the federal agents, stepped onto the porch wearing only
a towel around her. Young Art was given celebrity status
around Ulysses among his peers when relating the

Within two weeks of their arrival at the farm, the
filming was complete and Charlie, his cast and crew
returned to New York to edit the film. Several mountain
scenes, shown as vistas early in the storyline, were spliced
in. The panoramas were actually the Rockies and western
pine forests. The airplane and crop dusting shots were also
added with the sound dubbed in. The background music
was generic and often absent with no dramatic crescendo
during the attack scenes.

The movie was finally completed with a running time
of 89 minutes. The working title, FOREST OF FEAR, was
changed to TOXIC ZOMBIES, although it’s European
releases also substituted BLOOD EATERS and BLOOD
BUTCHERS as titles. The featured actors were listed as
Charles McCrann, Beverly Shapiro and John Amplas.
Amplas was a previously well-known actor in independent
film circles. He was the lead performer in George A.
Romero’s MARTIN three years before his rather minor
role in TOXIC ZOMBIES. It wasn’t until 1980 that
McCrann released the film to the public.

The evolution of the Zombie archtype from it’s
VooDoo origins to the concept of “Toxic” transformation
first appeared in independent horror films in the early
1970s. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and McCrann’s
TOXIC ZOMBIES were created and filmed within a few
months of each other. Charlie’s film-making began and
ended with his production. NIGHT OF THE LIVING
DEAD released part II, and the image of living people
rather than corpses taking on Zombie personas became a
horror film standard.

The AMC cable television series WALKING DEAD
is now in its 3rd season with a multitude of Emmys. The
2013 release of the movie blockbuster WORLD WAR Z
stunned movie-goers with its apocalyptic take-over of a
post-nuclear world by millions of swarming Zombies.
The 16 days of filming in Potter County in the summer
of 1974 can be looked back on in two ways. This was
Charlie McCrann’s only flight of horror fantasy, or as a
catalyst for the probability of government breakdown
creating world-wide social chaos. His film was banned for
over 28 years in Great Britain as too gory; but other films
much more savage in nature, but not using a government
conspiracy plot, did not fall under the BBFC ban.

Charles Austin McCrann, in his own easygoing fashion,
became involved with the Insurance Industry by
happenstance. He had just married his wife Michelle in
1979 and was ready to settle into family life; all he needed
was a career. Charlie first worked in midtown Manhattan
as a corporate lawyer for Marsh & McLennan, Inc. He was known throughout the company as a kind person with a
good sense of humor, a rarity in the l990 ‘s era of corporate
greed. A photo of Charlie taken in front of Princeton
Stadium in 1999, shows him with his 12 year old daughter
Maxine, his hand rests lightly on her arm, his head is
inclined slightly towards her, and he is smiling with both
affection and humor. In late August of 2001, Senior Vice
President of Marsh & McLennan, Charles McCrann
relocated to 1 World Trade Center with his office on the
100th floor. His insurance and financial company occupied
seven floors high in the first tower. On September 11th
Charlie and 295 employees were listed as missing after the
terror attack and the tower’s collapse.

On that Tuesday morning the world changed beyond
anything a screenwriter could have scripted. Charles
McCrann’s Zombie cult classic was rediscovered after his
death; and film historians recognized the early parallels
between this tiny little film venture shot in Potter County
and the number one rated television series, THE
WALKING DEAD. These film locations still exist in
Bingham, Harrison, Ulysses and Hector Townships.
Charlie would give a grin and a nod for a sequel.

¨ Dave Goudsward - Film Historian, 2010
¨ Arthur Kear - Research notes 1010-12, photo credit
¨ Dr. Shane Blake - Research notes 1013,, Harrison/
Bingham Twps.
¨ David Castano - Research notes 1013 PCHS

Monday, September 23, 2013

Results From McKean County Raceway



September 22, 2013

(East Smethport, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series wrapped up the eighth annual "Fall Classic" on an overcast and brisk 55-degree Sunday afternoon at McKean County Raceway. The third day of the traditional event was postponed to Sunday after some two inches of rain fell throughout the day on Saturday. Thirty-seven drivers from all over Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Maryland participated in race #19 of the 24 event slate.

Max Blair won an amazing eight of the nine regular events he entered this season at McKean on his way to the track championship; however, the $5,000 Sweeney Weekly Series and $3,000 Pace Summer Chase Champion had only been able to win one of the four Sweeney Tour events he competed in this season at his home track. On Sunday afternoon, Blair brought down the curtain on McKean's season with his fourth Tour win of the season. Blair passed nemesis Mike Pegher, Jr. with nine laps to go to claim the $1,500 victory- the 10th of the season for him at the East Smethport, Pa. oval.

"It's been a real good weekend, but I think Friday night should have been better and we could have had that one; it didn't work out for us, but that's okay- we made up for it today," explained the 23-year-old Centerville, Pa. winner. "You can't win if you follow so you have to move around and try to make something happen. We made it happen last week at Sharon and did it again today so that's awesome! I have to thank my dad first and foremost, all of my sponsors, and all of the guys that help out- without them none of this is possible."

After a dominating K&N Dash win, Chad Ruhlman, who was looking for his first Sweeney Tour and McKean victory of the season, couldn't hold off Pegher as the Sweeney Tour point leader took the early lead using the outside. Blair was third after one lap, while Ed Carley and Ryan Montgomery passed Zack Carley for fourth and fifth respectively.

By lap four, the top four of Blair, Ruhlman, Pegher, and Carley pulled away. Pegher began to distance himself from Ruhlman on lap five, while Blair began to pressure Ruhlman for second. After eight non-sop laps the caution was displayed for debris. When racing resumed, Ruhlman tried a move on Pegher, but slipped high allowing Blair to take runner-up; meanwhile, Carley got shuffled out after contact with Montgomery as Montgomery took fourth and ninth starting Damian Bidwell followed in fifth.

After a caution for Cody Mason, Montgomery continued to move forward as he passed Ruhlman for third, but two laps later Ruhlman regained the spot. Montgomery then dropped back to fifth on lap 13 when Bidwell snuck under for fourth. Jason Knowles got into Cody Mason and collected Butch Lambert necessitating the caution with 16 laps scored.

Like last Saturday at Sharon, it was a huge break for Blair as he lined up alongside Pegher. And just like at Sharon when Blair passed Pegher on the outside for the $2,000 victory, Blair made the identical move getting a great run on the outside of Pegher in turns one and two to power by Pegher to lead lap 17. Bidwell continued moving forward as he used the outside as well to get by Ruhlman for third on the restart.

Montgomery got himself back into contention as he passed Ruhlman for fourth on lap 18 then followed Bidwell past Pegher on a lap 20 restart for third. Bidwell and Montgomery resumed their battle from Friday night and Montgomery would get the better of it as he passed the local favorite on lap 21 for runner-up.

Up front, it was all Blair in his Specialty Products/Moody & Son Welding/Wescoat Excavating/Bobby Lake Motorsports/Genesis Shocks/VP Racing Fuels-sponsored #111 Rocket Chassis as his fourth Sweeney Tour win tied Pegher for tops in the Series. Blair also gained another spot in the Sweeney Tour points up to ninth.

Montgomery was second for the fifth time in the past 11 events and recorded his 13th top four finish in 19 events. "It's definitely different today," said the 16-year-old Fairmont, West Virginia standout. "It's day racing so if you mess up just a little bit it goes a long way. I got up to third then messed up on my restart, fell back to fifth then slowly made my way back through. About an hour after we got the car out of the trailer today we realized the rear end was broke so we threw it together in time for the heat race to run second. We started sixth and worked our way up through. It was a stressful day, but it all paid off in the end."

After a 16th and a 14th in his prior two McKean Tour events, Bidwell had a solid third. "I wish we had a better finish on Friday night," expressed the Eldred, Pa. youngster. "We went too soft on the tire today. If we had a harder tire I think we might have had something for Max. I'd like to thank all of my sponsors for making this possible."

Pegher dropped to fourth for his 15th top four finish in 19 Sweeney Tour races and leads Montgomery by 21 points. Ed Carley edged out 15th starting Bryce Davis for fifth after the two swapped the position back and forth. Carley was also fifth on Friday night as he was able to finish in the top seven in all five Sweeney Tour events at McKean.

John Waters was seventh. Pole-sitter Ruhlman dropped to eighth, but was able to gain a spot in points to fifth. K&N Dash pole-sitter Zack Carley, who was a career best Sweeney Tour runner-up on Friday night, fell back to ninth at the finish after losing his hood earlier in the race. Dan Davies subbed for Justin Tatlow in Lewy Kratts' #81 and had a solid showing finishing 10th. Davies had to start tail of his heat after not qualifying on Friday night then after transferring through the first B main, Davies came from the 23rd starting spot in the feature to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products gift card for being the "Pedal Down" Hard Charger.

Blair, Ruhlman, Pegher, and Zack Carley won the heat races, while Jason Genco and Knowles won the last chance B mains. Ruhlman became just the third driver to win multiple K&N Dashes this year and earned the $100 K&N certificate. Pegher received a $50 K&N certificate for second, while Blair and Zack Carley received $25 cash for finishing third and fourth respectively. Blair also set fast time back on Thursday night for the show with a lap of 15.807 to bring his event's earnings to $1,675.    

Richard "Critter" Hemphill was awarded The Brake Man's "Tough Brake of the Night". Hemphill was running in the second and final transfer spot in the second last chance B main only to get caught up in an accident when his RACEceiver failed. Hemphill came back through the field to second again, but lost the spot to Brad Mesler then spun trying a move in turn four on the final lap.

The next event on the Sweeney Tour will be race #20 of 24 at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in Markleysburg, Pa. for the $2,000 to-win "Bill Hendren Memorial" September 27-28. Thousands of dollars in contingencies will also be on given away. It will be a qualifying event with $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" qualifying and $25 to-win heat races on Friday night.

Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #19 (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111) 2. Ryan Montgomery (12) 3. Damian Bidwell (17) 4. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 5. Ed Carley (28) 6. Bryce Davis (94) 7. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 8. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 9. Zack Carley (8) 10. Dan Davies (Kratts 81) 11. Ward Schell (Baker 74) 12. Butch Lambert (27) 13. Dusty Waters (14) 14. Ralph Morgan, Jr. (Powell 100) 15. Justin Smith (22) 16. Doug Ricotta (01) 17. Bruno Mowery (29) 18. Cody Mason (MR1) 19. Brad Mesler (24B) 20. Adam Sixt (6T) 21. Jason Knowles (4) 22. Joe Buccola, Jr. (5B) 23. Shane Weaver (Ruffner 325x)-DSQ (unsportsmanlike conduct) 24. Jason Genco (29J)-DSQ (unsportsmanlike conduct).

DNQ: Matt Harvey (4), Garret Stephen (79), Miles Stitzinger, Jr. (Cole 43s), Richard Hemphill, Jr. (31), Bob Kish (5), Skip Jackson (52x), Garrett Mott (43x), Bill Mesler (15), Cody Dawson (36), Chad McClellan (119), Paul Grigsby (24), Junior Peters (00), Craig Dean (21).

Car Count: 37
Feature Lap Leaders: Pegher (1-16), Blair (17-25)
Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down Hard Charger":Dan Davies (+13)
The Brake Man "Tough Brake of the Night: Richard Hemphill, Jr.

Qualifying ($150 for fast time): 1. Max Blair 15.807 2. Chad Ruhlman 15.909 3. John Waters 15.982 4. Chad McClellan 16.006 5. Ed Carley 16.057 6. Ryan Montgomery 16.066 7. Mike Pegher, Jr. 16.074 8. Mike Pegher, Jr. 16.074 9. Zack Carley 16.137 10. Damian Bidwell 16.148 11. Dusty Waters 16.178 12. Bryce Davis 16.194 13. Cody Mason 16.241 14. Paul Grigsby 16.264 15. Doug Ricotta 16.279 16. Ward Schell 16.367 17. Justin Smith 16.374 18. Shane Weaver 16.397 19. Butch Lambert 16.406 20. Jason Knowles 16.413 21. Bruno Mowery 16.440 22. Adam Sixt 16.470 23. Brad Mesler 16.475 24. Joe Buccola, Jr. 16.499 25. Jason Genco 16.502 26. Craig Dean 16.584 27. Bill Mesler 16.599 28. Ralph Morgan, Jr. 16.620 29. Justin Tatlow 16.637 30. Bob Kish 16.655 31. Garret Stephen 16.686 32. Richard Hemphill 16.691 33. Matt Harvey 16.715 34. Garrett Mott 16.790 35. Junior Peters 17.257 36. Skip Jackson 17.561 37. Miles Stitzinger, Jr. 18.502.

Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer)1. Blair 2. E. Carley 3. Bidwell 4. Smith 5. Mowery 6. Genco 7. Davies 8. Harvey 9. Stitzinger 10. Dawson-DNS.

Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer)1. Ruhlman 2. Montgomery 3. D. Waters 4. Weaver 5. Sixt 6. Mott 7. Kish 8. Grigsby-DNS 9. Dean-DNS.

Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer)1. Pegher 2. J. Waters 3. Ricotta 4. Davis 5. Lambert 6. Br. Mesler 7. Bi. Mesler 8. Stephen 9. Peters-DNS.

 Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer)1. Z. Carley 2. Schell 3. Mason 4. Buccola 5. Morgan 6. Knowles 7. Hemphill 8. Jackson 9. McClellan-DNS.

K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash (4 laps/$100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Chad Ruhlman 2. Mike Pegher, Jr. 3. Max Blair 4. Zack Carley

Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Genco 2. Davies 3. Harvey 4. Stitzinger 5. Kish 6. Mott 7. Dawson-DNS 8. Grigsby-DNS 9. Dean-DNS.

Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Knowles 2. Br. Mesler 3. Stephen 4. Hemphill 5. Jackson 6. Bi. Mesler 7. McClellan-DNS 8. Peters-DNS.

2013 RUSH marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, RainEater Wiper Blades, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The -Brake Man, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, K1 RaceGear, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Wrisco Industries, High Gear Speed Shop, Utsinger's Towing,, and Valley Fashions.

E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Racing Series website is Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.